EU Imposes Additional Sanctions on Belarus

Posted June 20th, 2011 at 12:25 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

The European Union has imposed additional sanctions on Belarus, in reaction to the government's protracted crackdown on political dissidents and activists.

European foreign ministers added three companies and several people directly linked to Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, including arms tycoon and Lukashenko adviser Vladimir Peftiev and his companies.

It is the first time the EU has targeted the Belarusian business sector.

The 27-nation bloc already has frozen the assets and imposed travel restrictions on President Lukashenko and more than 150 others — both government officials and close associates of the president.

Belarus has come under increased international scrutiny after a disputed election in December that reinstated Mr. Lukashenko, and because of a deepening economic crisis.

Last week, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe issued a special report accusing Mr. Lukashenko's government of systematically using fear, harassment, torture and blackmail to clamp down on its citizens.

U.S. President Barack Obama also has criticized the repression in Belarus, saying Mr. Lukashenko has shown a total disregard for democratic values, the rule of law and his own people.